Robert E. Lee

John Van Brunt

U.S. Mil. Academy West Point N.Y.

24 Nov. 1854


I have recd your letter of the 21st Inst. in relation to your son, Cadet F. W. Van Brunt. Had not your recent visit to the Academy, led me to believe that you would correctly inform yourself on the subject of your letter. I would have written to you. The whole difficulty I think consists in his having been appointed too young. His mind & body are not sufficiently developed to master his studies, or undergo the labours of his position, & it would be unjust to subject him to the mortification of failure, or to tax him beyond his strength—His conduct under the circumstances, has been exemplary, & I would recommend that he be allowed to resign at once. Being discouraged at his want of success, he probably does not make a great effort & I find gets zero at nearly every recitation in Math. He is gaining nothing by continuing at the Acady. & I would advise that he be recalled home at once, as I consider it impossible for him to pass his examinations in Jany.

If you coincide with me in opinion & will write me your permission for him to resign, I will forwd his resignation to the Secy. of War & recommend its acceptance. Upon the acceptance, his accounts will be closed & he can return home by such route as you may designate.

I remain very respfy. your obedt. Servt.Signed/ R. E. Lee Br. Col:
Supt: Mil: Acady

Superintendent’s Daily Correspondence
United States Military Academy

Superintendent’s Letter Book No. 3, p. . Addressed “John Van Brunt Hackensack, N.J.”